Fleet News

Road test: Citroen C2 Enterprise

Latest to join the range is the perky C2 Enterprise, which is basically a Citroen C2 car with the seats removed and a load floor put in their place. This new van joins the Xsara Enterprise, which is built using the same philosophy but starting with a Xsara car.

It’s such a simple and fiendish idea that I’m surprised all the other manufacturers haven’t jumped on the bandwagon.

The C2 Enterprise won’t suit all fleet needs with its diminutive load area, but for those who don’t need lots of space, it could prove just the ticket. The C2 can truly boast car-like drivability, as it is actually a car. Then there’s the price – at £7,495 ex-VAT, it undercuts the Ford Fiestavan 1.4 TDCi by just over £1,000. It appears that Citroen means business.

Under the bonnet goes Peugeot-Citroen’s 1.4-litre HDi common rail diesel engine which pumps out 70bhp at 4,000rpm, while offering up to 70 miles per gallon. Payload is 331kg and load space is 0.84 cubic metres.

Citroen sees its core customers as service engineers, trades people, security personnel, supervisory staff and slot machine and meter cash collectors. Robert Handyside, Citroen’s commercial vehicle operations manager, told Fleet Van: ‘This van is a real breath of fresh air in the sub high-cube sector. With its unique design features and many class-leading attributes, this new van brings real financial and operational benefits to the UK market.’

Those benefits include an insurance grouping of 1E, 12,500-mile servicing intervals and a variable warranty package of either two years/unlimited mileage or three years/100,00 miles.

Outside

A FEW years ago, many people – including myself – felt that Citroen had lost its way in the design stakes. Citroens were always daringly different but somehow chic and stylish too. But one could hardly call the likes of the old BX and Xantia daring and different.

All that has been swept out of the window. The C2 is as cheeky, funky and cute as you could wish.

So our van will certainly cut a dash on the UK’s roads with its wide slatted grille, jaunty headlamps and curvaceous lines.

Passers-by will have to look twice to realise this vehicle is in fact a van. The rear side screens are made of glass but they are tinted black so you can’t see there are no back seats inside.

In the front

ENTRY into the cab is by remote plip-locking and once inside, the van is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside. There are acres of legroom, even for tall spindly specimens like myself and although the seats don’t adjust for height, the steering wheel moves upwards and outwards if necessary.

And what about all those cup holders? There is one in the front console, two behind the handbrake and another one in the bottom glovebox cover. Just how many drinkers does Citroen expect this van to carry?

There are many more cubby holes, including a second large glovebox on top of the dash on the passenger side. Meanwhile, a removable ashtray with a lid can be placed in any of the cup slots.

Entertainment is courtesy of a single slot CD player/radio.

On the security front, there are deadlocks and an immobiliser and the van automatically locks itself when it gets underway, an anti-jacking device and a sad reflection of the times we live in.

In the back

LET’S be honest – there isn’t a lot of room in the back of this vehicle. But what space there is happens to be nice and square and is accessible through a rather natty double folding hatch at the rear. The bottom folding section has a plastic cover in which private items can be hidden away from general view.

There is a full wire mesh bulkhead at the front of the load area and a flat, wipe-clean floor, along with two load-lashing eyes.

The C2 can’t quite match the Fiestavan for payload or load volume. The Ford boasts 494 kg and one cubic metre to the C2’s 331kg and 0.84cu m.

On the road

THE C2’s 1.4-litre HDi engine is well-known, proven and reliable – after all it powers everything from Mazda2 to the Peugeot 206.

It’s a perky performer and should be capable of phenomenal fuel economy as long as the driver eases off on the right foot sufficiently.

The gearchange is slick and smooth and the clutch action light – a delightful driving experience. It’s a bit like piloting a dodgem. Surprisingly at this price, ABS brakes are a standard fixture, along with electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency braking assist – top marks, Citroen.

On the safety front, a driver and passenger airbag come as standard, along with height adjustable seatbelts with pre-tensioners.

Verdict

AFTER a week with the C2 Enterprise, I was left with an enormous amount of respect for this willing little performer. It won’t suit all tastes obviously, but you won’t find anything else as cheap and well-specced.

Fact file

Gross vehicle weight (kg): 1,374
Payload (kg): 331
Load volume (cu m): 0.84
Max power (bhp/rpm): 70/4,000
Max torque (lb ft): 118/1,750
Price (£ ex-VAT): 7,495

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